tv Congressional Black Caucus Holds Town Hall on Civil Rights CSPAN September 22, 2017 7:31am-10:01am EDT
>> the faith that they -- past has brought us. we will, we will, we will, march on. until victory is won. blog i welcome you on behalf of the congressional black caucus foundation, you're at the legislative conference, conference that you could not afford to miss, and be reminded and still i rise. welcome you again and delighted you have come for the focus of today's discussion is fighting the systemic destruction of our civil rights. it is very timely, it is urgent, and i'm confident that we'll have a productive discussion. early this mark i was at the time onof our missions for homeless men here in washington, dc, along with the congressional black caucus foundation spouses. i said to them, we must live with hope, but when you see
individuals, where the system has fail them, where there is no future, then you know that we have to stand in the gap. i did not leave them with that thought. they are deserving of dignity like everyone else. when you deny man or woman's civil rights you take away their life, their dignity and their future in the congressional black caucus foundation and the congressional black caucus we are not going to allow that to happen. i'm pleased to see we have multigenerational audience in the room this morning. the folks from my generation -- young -- understand firsthand wait a minute means to attain rent in our democracy. we're painfully aware of the sacrifices remain to brick our nation closer to maickel real its values freedom, equality and justice for all. we do not deny that those who are in the millennium yes separation those who come after
do not understand and will not be imbedded with that source of soulness they will understand, too but it is our challenge to make it real. right now, there is a dangerous undercurrent in this nation in which some would like to roll back the progress the rights and opportunitieses of other marlingized populations from muslims to immigrants to african-americans, hispanics, women, people of different viewed, different orientations, different faiths. that will not stand in this nation, and we should not allow it to stand. these ideas are derived from fear, ignorance and the short-sighted nation that prosperity for one group must achieved or maintained by subordinating other groups. i'm here to tell you we as a people are not going to back ever, ever again. furthermore we as a nation can do better than this. if you are listening, attorney
general sessions you may hold a post of the person who is supposed to be the man of justice, but we will determine that justice of ourselves and we will determine and ensure and make that you do not undermine the justice we dorf, you wail not snatch out civil rights away from us ever again, no matter what southern democracy you claim you may have come from. we can build an american society that supports the needs and aspirations of everyone within it, and as african-americans we have had to make moral leadership during critical points in the nation's history. during the civil rights movement, for example, we had a peaceful movement that forced the nation to begin to live up to its stated principles. no one will ever say that we are not law-abiding, we do not respect, we have abiding by the laws, but we want the laws to abide by us.
if necessary we and can we will do that movement again, as has already been done by so many movements that have stood up and stood in the gap. you will hear from two of our pioneers who put in their work and continue to serve us to this day, young people, we are excited about your energy and your commitment to propel the next phase of government. we know you're coming and you will move government forward. i'm asking that every one of you in this room, and those watching on tv and online to engage your peers to get involved, and amply identify your voices, loudly and clearly. did you hear in the? amplify your voices loudly and clearly. don't hear you. are you going to amplify those voices? [cheering] >> now, push back again the assaults on our rights and frankly the almost deadly efforts to everything we know to be good and right. we must keep driving this
movement forward. all of us together. we cannot take for granted the blood or the -- but in tears of our elders and our ancestors that endured so we cannot only survive, that we would one day begin to thrive. we cannot take for granted, brothers, that we have lost in the streets to the hands of those who wish to take away the life of our young brothers and leave mothers mourning. we know the role cal. -- roll call. we cannot let them down. i'm optimistic our participation in this town hall will be well-spent, put we'll give you the tools to embolden you and strengthen you. know that this will be the catalyst for the collective action in months to come. legislation that is being driven by the congressional black
caucus, and those who think well all throughout the congress, democratic leadership and others that will make a difference. i'm very privacy with the distinguished paneli wes have assembled here this morning and i want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank them for being here with us. it is of course you'll have two very special guests that will be especially introduce fled a few minutes. i'm so excited about that chat but on the penal we have miss bonita goop tacoma we have tanik mallory from the women's march of washington, and toyola brown with the phillips institute and clarence cox of the national organization of black law enforcement, former chief of police, clayton, georgia, who will tell it like it is.
thank you, all of you, for making the time to participate in this very timely discussion. i look forward to joining you on this panel, along with the colleague, congressman d.c. who is also the lc co-chair along with robin. on a related note i want to give special thanks to our sponsor on this event, visual much want to give them thanks, the service employees international union. give them a hand, please. [applause] >> organized labor movements have taught us over decade, as i said to them berth in power of unity, the necessity of fairness, the val knew compromise and the co will -- collaboration so we're very happy to have your support and have the fciu as our thought partneres. i want to make sure that we
bring to the stage the leader of the organization that brought us all together, and as i bring him -- her to the stage, let me say a special note of thanks from those of white house are impacted by hurricane harvey. we are so grateful that the alc dedicated this alc 47th annual time with all of you to the survivors of hurricane harvey, hurricane irma and now hurricane maria. before i left, i buried one of those valiant servants of the people who left in the midst of the storm and said, i've got to get to work and never made it. we lost so many. but i'm grateful we are one and united and we won't forget them, and we worked together with the whom who is leading the chain and charge to build the pipeline of leaders that will give voice to our agent, let's warmly
welcome the president and ceo of the congressional black caucus foundation, miss which hanis washington. thank you all. stand in the gap. >> thank you, madam chairwoman, and good morning to each of you. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> welcome. so grateful to your presence here this morning for what i predict will be a passionate and thought-provoking series of discussions over the next two hours. the national town hall is an important part of cbc's annual legislative conference as it brings together national thought leaders, policymakers and changemakers for serious discussion about the state of the global black community, our agenda and the steps we must take to move it forward.
the mission of the congressional black cause foundation is to advance the global black community by developing leaders and forming policy and educating the pock, and one of the foundations most important functions is providing transformational leaderships tend for the next now generation of policymakers, thought leaders and innovators. we accomplish through through thank you fellowship, internship, scholarship, and study abroad program which provide access to the halls of congress, private sector companies and learning about the policymaking process in other countries. there is no other pathway to this kind of access and at this time in our country's history, there's hardly been a greater need to seed a new generation of public servants. since the inception of the congressional black caucus foundation we have placed thousands of suburbed, hundreds of public policy fellows and
disbursed tens of minds of dollars in scoop funds. thank you for -- scholarship funds. thank you for supporting this conference to including conveniencing nearly 10,000 people each september to discuss those issues most critical to the global black community. it is now my pleasure to introduce you to the 2016-2018 cohort of public kole by sill throws. priscilla barber, on in the energy and environmental subcommittee. [applause] zoe kador with the american petroleum institute. [applause]
aladrene, on the house energy and commerce committee, subcommittee or stungs -- communication and technology democratic staff. abdul densing, united states agency for international development, usaid, power africa division. [applause] >> ronald madlock with the senate subcommittee on regulatoriy affairs and federal management. [applause] a aaron robinson, house committee on education and the work force. and kimberly toots, house committee oned indication and the work force as well. i encourage you to connect with them during the conference and learn about the cbcf leadership
institute and their experiences, and i also ask that you consider supporting these programs by making a contribution to the cbc foundation through one of our giving programs, and i like to tell you a little about bit it. there's an opportunity to contribute that is a win-win opportunity and it's with one of our partners, uber, the ride-sharing app. they're supporting the annual legislative conference by offering a discount to users who use the cbcf-alc2017 discount code. cbcfalc2017 discount code. each time you take uber using the code, they will make a donation to cbcf. so please be sure and put it in your phone now and have it ready when you leave the convention center, and that code will be active through sunday. i will also like to express a heart felt appreciation to seiu for their supportship of this national town hall event which
not only helps us bring all of us together but also supports the foundation's program, and importantly, thank each of you. thank you for investing your time and resources to be here this week, and for your participation in the discussions. it not only signals you understand your civic responsibilities, but you also have a sense of what is stake and importantly committed to driving our collective mission. enjoy the rest of you day. thank you. [applause] >> it is now my pleasure to bring up the chair of the congressional black caution. he is a champion for the black agenda in congress and for the policies and actions that can enable our communities to grow and thrive. he hails from new orleans, louisiana, a city that understands all too heal how crises can devastate communities but also brings out the humanity, selflessness and
courage in people. this favorite son of new orleans is a well-seasoned -- parred pardon the pun -- to leave in the face of the challenge wes face as a political collective. we're all thankful for this leadership and his bold voice in coverage please give a warm welcome to congressman sedrick richmond. [applause] >> let me say thank you for your kind introduction. i believe i can say on behalf of all the members of the congressional blam cuss we appreciate the leadership and the partnership with the congressam black caucus foundation. to my colleague, sheila jackson lee, we watch your strength and perseverance alongside your houston community during and after devastation of hurricane
harvey. you know the folks from my home town of new orleans have been there we've done that and we thank you for your generosity and all of that of the people of houston for welcoming us to their city and taking care of our victims of hurricanes katrina and rita. so we real appreciate expect we're here for you. and good morning and welcome to all of you. i'm always excited to be with our constituents, all of you, who have come from near and far, to share to listen to network, and to strategize around our national agenda. this annual legislative conference and events like this national town hall are so important because they offer a very unique opportunity for the congressional black caucus to bring together our heroes and our thought leaders to focus our hearts and minds on our collective agenda. the rise in hate, rhetoric and crimes and attempts to normalize
white supremacy language, but mow importantly related policy, will not be left unchecked by us. we must treat these occurs in the same way we respond to other national crises. we must band together, leverage our allies, and activate all of our resources, including but certainly not limited to getting everyone committed to vote in every election. our unified participation in policymaking can move us closer to access and equity that we must have in order to progress. we know well when we have equity and opportunity, public health, and safety, justice, education, and economic justice, when we are free to prosper and thrive, our nation will also thrive and reach its full potential. i'm looking forward to the many discussions, ideas and inspirations that will come from today's town hall discussion, and from the events to follow all over the weekend. we're listening.
we're learning, and we will undoubtedly be energized to keep fighting the good fight on behalf of you, our constituents, and to uphold our responsibility as the conscious of the congress. our ancestors and dellers if invested a great dale in our nation and our young people should inherit and put reply the fruits of the labor. i'm eager to get the conversation started so i'll get out of the way. first i want you haar to paragraphly from two colleagues the co-chair of the conference, instrumental in putting together the agent for the conference, bringing it their address the myriad of issues that need our focus and attention. at this time please hem me bring up the co-chairs of the congressional black caucus' 47th annual legislative congress, congresswoman robin kelly in illinois and mark violent extremism ci representing the 33rd district
the texas. thank you, and give them a round of applause. [applause] >> good morning. thank you, chairman richmond, for all of your work on behalf of the congressional black caucus and thank you for your commitment to empowering communities of color and confronting the powers and on stack tells that stand in the way of equality and justice for so many people of color. welcome and good morning to all of you taking the 47th 47th congressam black caucus annual legislative conference. whether you're here in person or watching online, thank you for caring enough to get involved. as my friend and our former president broke barack obama once put it, we are the change we seek. and that is exactly why we are here today. we are the sparks of resistance, reform and resilience this nation relies on. the annual legislative conference is and will always remain the annual meeting place for, a folks change. where we can convenience of behalf of our respective
communities and nick a difference through the strength of our ideas and that is what this nation needs, strength, ideas, and change. elections matter. ideased matter. and right now we can see, feel and hear how big of a difference an election can make. the alc will feel different than last year's alc but this country feels a lot different today than it did last year. we are the change we seek and no matter what obstacle, what policy, what presidency we face, yet still we will rise. there is a fierce urgency right now, we have a new mission that beginnings this week. let's be bold, let's be purposeful, let's not let an opportunity pass us by or a moment go to waste to make the change that we need right now. in miss morning's national town hall is the perfect beginning to do just that. let me thank my co-chair for this year, alc's congressman macdeasy from texas.
i'm thank you for your partnership as the co-chair of this congress. anything you would like to say this morning? >> absolutely. thank you, robin. and it's so energizing to be here with you, colleagues, constituents and community led leaders to focus on a nationalling. the fact that all of you are here this morning, full of inside, full of energying are right? and ready to engage tells us something about your mindset and commitments. you're ready to put yourself in tough conversations, and places so that you can be part of the solution. i'm lucky to be among you and inspired to do more and push harder on those days when the fight for justice is a steep uphill battle. as co-chair of the conference, i encourage you fully engage in the sessions and networking opportunities and to think strategically about the fire that we can spark here in 2017. i am asking you to believe in
our ongoing process, i'm asking you make a promise to yourself and your peers you will not let that spark die when you go back to your neighborhoods and cities and we're counting on you to support us and hold us accountable until we achieve the future we collectively envision for all of our communities. thank you. [applause] >> having a moderator is important, and our moderator for this panel is going to be jeff johnson. jeff johnson is the moderator. [applause]
that was the intro good. good morning. good morning. >> good morning. >> it us fantastic to be here with you for those of you that don't know me, i'm jeff johnson, communication specialist, journalist, boot leg activist, servant that has worked with many of you in the room and supported many of you and more than anything i am honored and privileged to be able to guide you through this conversation this morning. where do i start? we're talking about fighting the systemic destruction of our civil rights, and if we didn't know that with timely, many of us can be reminded. when we talk about civil rights talk about african-americanan he can sees to criminal justice, public health, voting rights among other issues. win we talk about civil rights i think even today we need to deal with an anted quaid narrative versus a current narrative. and i don't know about you but i'm tired of talking about civil rights and our movement through
the lens of work that we should a already have been -- thing wes have already been given and survival versus power, and if we don't talk about power through ownership, power through equity, power threw the ability to leverage that which this country has through prosperity, then we're still begging people to give us what we have helped this country earn. and so let's be clear. we will talk about equity as it relates to issues of policy but if we're not talking about power we're still being pimped even in the name of moving towards what we claim we want. know that makes some of you uncomfortable. don't care. this morning we'll tackle questions around african-american voting participation. the civic engagement of black millenials and i to strategies and solutions to ensure that black voices are heard and their interests are addressed. still i rise, which comes from the poet laureate, miya angelou,
speaks to the fact we have the ability to rise. the question is what are we going rise to? what are we going rise to do? where will we rise to do it? if we're rising to mediocritiy or riding to being comfortable or rising to be come miss -- complacent we might as well stay down. hope we merge because there is a poet laureate that some of you may know or may not know that hails from chicago named chance the rapper and want to say you don't want no problems with me and if we surprise su say you don't want to problem wisdom me andship at strategy legislators and wnba and our communities, then the enemy that we're fighting in white supremacy and the tenets of white supremacy understand that not only are we talking about rising, but we're mobilizing when we do. [applause] so, before we bring out the
funnel panel i want to illinois gauge two along serving leader in the congress, they're both universally respected. if you don't know them you have been under a rock. but i think what is key is that both of these representatives are not only present when they're on the hill and in their district but they're recognized all over the country. their years of service is not just about what they've done in the halves congress but about young people that they have developed, about whenses they helped support, about people that they've pushed along the way, about what they did when nobody was watching. and that is the true testament of leeway. -- leadership. what do you do when there are press conferences or cameras. they represent leadership in the congressional black cause. first an american hero who has been fighting for human dignity, liberty and equal opportunity since he was teenager on the front lines of the american civil rights movement.
he is a ranking member of the oversight subcommittee of the ways and means committee and the beloved representative from georgia, don't know if we need give him a warm round of applause. think we need give him a level of honor. pleas public congressman john lewis. [applause] [cheers and applause] >> congressman lewis, the most challenging part of this conversation is that we have 15 minutes. i know that could be one question for you. with all respect. >> that's okay, brother. >> i'm so thankful to be here sitting with you and i hope we can have a conversation in that
short time and then take questions from the audience. what is interesting in this time is that events in charlottesville and other parts of the country awoke people to the term "white supremacy" in a why like that it forgot if existed. can you talk about not the fact that this is white supremacy that ever went away but we have to recognize there's an evolved white supremacy. what is the variances and the differences you see between this mechanism of white supremacy that we're fighting in 2017 versus that which you and many of your cohorts fought nearly 40 years ago. >> thank you very much for being you. thank you for never, ever giving up or giving in, but for keeping the faith. >> thank you. >> some people really thought -- maybe some of us really dreamed -- that when president
barack obama was electedded it -- elected it was the end of racism, new day, a better day, but when we had this most recent election, helped create the climate, the environment, to bring out something that had been a little asleep, and people feel like now they can just get away with everything. what happened in virginia made me very sad. we faced mobs. we faced the klan. we faced overt, open racism. during the '60s, during the freedom riots in 196, 1 black people and white boom couldn't be seated together on a greyhound bus. heaving washington, dc, to travel to the south. we were beaten. attempted to burn us on the bus. we were left bloody and unconscious.
by angry mobs. when we attempted to march from selma to montgomery fouts jury foe right to vote to float a peaceful, orderly, nonviolent fashion, we were beaten by the state police and left bloody, some unconscious, and some of our people died. after the march on washington, in 1963, there was so much hope and optimism but 18 days later, a church was bombed in birmingham, where four little girls were killed on a sunday morning. what we see happening now, it's not new. the man some people voted for just made it very comfortable. for people to put on the hoods, put on those sheets, and i tell you, if we're not mindful or
watchful, we are going to go back. we have come too far, made to much progress to go back if don't want to go back. i want to go forward and we must go forward. >> when you mention that, that he made people brazen enough to put a sheets back on, but a whole lot of people with suits on and so when we look at the prison industrial complex and the fact that private prison stock went up 600% the day after trump was elected, that speaks to more than folks marching through the streets with hoods on. that speaks to a systemic market-driven slavery and white supremacy system, and so how do we fight that? because clearly there's a way to combat words in the street, but when you start talk about private prisons who gave $500,000 to trump's campaign, and then another $500,000 to the inauguration, that is institutional at its highest level, and all of the profits
are on the backs of our folks. so how do we, one, address that, not just the prison piece but the broader corporate piece and what tools do way have another off disposal. >> we must organize. some of us have been asleep too long, we need to wake up. we need to use everything in our power. economic resources, use the vote also. on election days, too many of us are staying at home. people died for the right to vote. the vote is precious. it's almost sacred. it is the most powerful nonviolent instrument of tool we have in a democratic society and we should use it. it doesn't make sense for us to have private prisons. not at the state level, the county level her to federal level. they must be abolished.
shouldn't be making money, profits, off of the suffering and pain of people. it is wrong. >> you just mentioned that people stay home on election day, and especially when we look at municipal races. you have mayors being elected at single digit turnout numbers which should be illegal the challenge i have is when the electorate isn't excited about their options, number two, they're being asked to vote based on the past versus the future. and so i agree with you about how much was given for us to vote, and the lives that were lost, but when guy to the polls, i'm vote fork the children, not for my grandparents hospital. do we chang the narrative where we don't discount all of the work that was done by you and many others to get us here, but we cast a vision of what is possible with that vote and what our vote is worth versus asking young people to vote for history that often we haven't taught them.
>> we must vote for the present and for the future. we have to use it. we have to educate. and inspire people to stand up, and i said to my colleagues, doesn't matter whether i are black, white, lat teen nor, asia americans or native american, when you see something that it is not right, not fair, not just, you have an obligation to do something to say something. we're just too darn quiet. want to use some other word sometimes, and i believe in the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence but sometimes i feel like taking a bull whip and just saying to people, you get your butt up. you go out there and do what you must do. more young people, more women, but especially young men and women, must get involved in the political arena and run for office.
become fighteres, warriors. women wait until we're 50, 60, 70 years old. young children marching in birmingham. in selma. and all across the south. they were saying things like, i'm not old enough to register to vote. let me teacher register to vote. let me mother, my father, my grandparents, my great-grandparents. we all can do something again. jeff just said, we're too quiet. when i spoke at the march on washington i said, i was 23 years old, all of my hair and a few pound lighter but i-saying to the crowd that day you tell to us wait, you tell to us be patient, we don't want our freedom gradually. we want it and we want it now. we need to use everything we have at our disposal help liberate our people. >> you might be the best person
to answer this question you. talk about the powers that be, telling black folks during that time to wait and be patient. but i see old black folks -- i'm going to quantify this -- old black folks telling young black folks the same thing in 2017. you got to wait. you got to be patient. how do we in our community navigate helping young people fight old people and revere elders. >> you can have all of the respect and you can revere your father and your grandfather and your great-grandfather and great-grandmothers' groups but you got to push. >> oh due you -- >> we just got out and did it. >> you there were some elders that helped y'all, that were advisers, mentors, guides but
y'all fought some old folks to get them out of the way of blocking a youth movement. i'm curious what advice would you give? how did you fight old effect? i'm clear, even in this room right now, it's some old folks scared of young people in their movement. they want them to talk the way day do move they way they do. i'm curious. because you did it at a time that in many cases pivoted what the ultimate outcome of the movement was. how did that happen? >> i remember in 1961, when we were released from prison during the freedom riots in mississippi, cam back to nashville, tennessee, and the race relations institute was meeting at fisher university. thurgood marshall was there my first time meeting him. he said something like, john lewis, you don't need to continue the freedom rides.
to do many of you have been arrested and going to jail being beaten. let's take one case to the united states supreme court, and i said, mr. marshall, thank you for all that you're doing, thank you for fighting the battle in the courts, but we need a malls movement. were and we need that today. we got to make some people uncomfortable and it doesn't matter, we have to get out there and really push and pull, pick them up, put them down, and sometimes you saw what some of us did on the house floor a year ago to try to do something about gun violence, trying to get the speaker of the house bring the bill to the floor. and we organized a sit-in the
well of the house, never in the history of our country that group of members took seats in the well of the house. [applause] >> we got to do some things that may steam be radical, may steam be extreme. sometimes you have to get in the way. when i was growing up and asked my mother and my father, my grandparents about the science, saying white waiting, colors men, they said, boy, that's the way it is; don't get in trouble. but rosa parks and dr. king and others inspired me to get in trouble. what call good trouble. necessary trouble, and it's time for black people, white people of good will, asian-american and native americans to lead this country in a different direction and get in trouble. >> before we take questions from the audience we have five
minutes. you talk about getting in trouble and being disruptive, but there is a real fear and i'm curious how you fought your fear. you risked a lot. on to the front of lines. sacrificed potential jobs and education and just to say, and out there and do it, which i agree with you, is important, but navigating and managing the fear of repercussion is something else. what do you say to young and seasoned alike that will be risking something by being disruptive? how do they challenge that fear? >> well, we studied. we studied the way of peace. we studied the way of love. we studied the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. and we made up our minds that it was better to live free than to
die as a slave. [applause] so, i got arrested 40 times during the '60s and been arrest five times since i've been in congress, and i probably going to get arrested again for something. i think you just cannot be at whole with yourself. i lost friends. i loved martin luther king, jr. i wrote him a letter when i was 17 years old. he wrote me back and sent me a round-trip greyhound bus ticket, invited flow come to mont come troy meet with him. he inspired me to get involved. i met rosa parks when i was 17. and made me a better human being. we all have to come to that
point where we respected dignity and the worth of every human being. i tell you, things are going to get a little worse but daylight is going to come, and it won't be long. >> thank you. >> that's why must still rise. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, congressman lewis. [applause] >> the conversation with congressman lewis could easily be a master's level course at an institution and you wouldn't repeat anything. so, the fact that we were able to cover as much pass we need a short time, congressman, thank you so much. there's no way we can get to every question. but what i would love for you to do is three thingsment number
one, ask a question. number two, ask a question. and number three, ask a question. if you have not asked that question within 15 seconds, i will ask you to ask a question. long-time lead are to the washington bureau of the naacp, please. >> thank you, and congressman lewis it's an authorize be with you today. thank you for what you have done in fruition of the movement we have been able to move. voting rights. i get the impression that after experiencing the 2008 election where more african-americans turn out in the history of the nation and the only thing that beats that is what happened in 2012. led by our outcome people, 18 to 24. continuous growth and delivered the first african-american president to the white house. >> meats your question. >> the question being, it appears to me that it's been
chiseled away. the supreme court voted to mass in she shelby decision to eliminate one of the most important protections of voted it right decide. >> you're important question. >> the question is, what do we do now? >> we must get out and work and organize and mobilize like we never done before. i think we are too patient. i think some of us feel like we are so down, i'm so down, don't get me down. we need to just stand up, be brave, be bold, and push. we all can play role. we all can do something. we all can make a contribution and we're too silent. we need to get our young people, our children to read the literature, the books, watch the
film, tell the story. irspire them to push -- inspire them to push and pull. in selma, alabama, school teachers left the classrooms in 1963 and '64, and walked to the courthouse to attempt to ridge store vote. -- register to vote. how can we be at home with ourself when we have someone serving as attorney general as jeff sessions. how can we be at home with yourselves when we see what is happening to so many of our young people, to our brothers and sisters? we need some fire under us. >> yes, ma'am. >> my question is basically this. the sheets are off, the heeds are off, they're putting on suits. is it possible now for us to start looking at the systemic problems as it relates to
extremism, white supremacy, when these people are working in law enforcement, in the correctional institutions? is it possible for us to now start look neglect background the people -- looking in the background of the people that are abusing our young individual now by looking into their jackets, excessive force of those people what are doing this? >> we need to do what you suggested, that and more. in recent weeks, in the state of georgia, not too far from the city of atlanta, a white police officer stopped a car, a young white woman was driving the car, and the police officer said to her in so many word, don't be afraid, we only kill black
people. what did we do about it? racism is still deeply imbedded in american society. we are not there yet. we are not a post racial society. we have to call it what it is at all levels, whether it's in the white house, in the courthouse, we have to deal with it. don't try to sweep it under the scrug say it doesn't exist. we have smart people, scholars, writers, tell the stories. we all have stories to tell. >> we are short on time. i'd like the next two people in line to quickly tell their questions. very quickly. and then congressman lewis will give his closing thoughts. >> good morning. my question is, as a young
person learning to bridge the gap, how do we handle conversations when people tell us to quickly get over racism or slavery when we good-americans have given jewish people and native americans time to go through their ordeal but when it comes to the african-american person, they want us to forget slavery and the systemic race sim? how do we happen that in the next generation. >> congressman lewis, now for this opportunity itch represent stand up for democracy. we're still fighting for full citizenship in washington, dc. we have the highest number of cosponsors for our legislation before the house and senate but it is not there yet. how do we inspire people in d.c. to go more for just the legislative approach and get out
in the street and bring the attention to the nation to our lack of full rights rights and citizenship? >> thank you so much. >> congressman in some case those can merge, but how do young people in particular begin to have this conversation or us as a comment? when people tell to us get over our pain, stop talk about our history and then the specific one about mobilization to d.c. citizenship. >> if you visit the african-american museum, on the mall, and i think today more people are visiting the museum than are visiting the white house. [applause] >> when you walk through the museum, how can you get over? how can you get over the way our
people were treated? >> uh-huh. >> i'm not going to get over it. you don't need to get over it. you must have the capacity and the ability in spite of what happens to people, to be brave, bold, courageous, organized the unorganized, come up with plans to combat the racism that is still existing in america, and in d.c., you have 49 african-american members of congress. right? i'll make up the black caucus. and there's hundreds of others that support us. we must do what we took take the house back, take the senate back, and put on the democratic
agenda the whole question of home rule for d.c. if it were left up to my, if i had the power to issue an executive order i would make d.c. a state and give you two senators and two members of the house. brut you have to push. you can't be quiet. just think too many of us are too quiet. >> let me say this. ladies and gentlemen, i and you know those who have given a great deal of their life to work and as they become seasoned, they rest as they deservedly can. this soldier has not. and we appreciate congressman lewis, that as seasoned as you continue to be, you keep seasoning us to make us better. and challenging to us push and serving in your own way. so one more time, ladies and
gentlemen, can we give a round of applause to congressman john lewis. >> thank you. [cheers and applause] >> is there some reason why i did not get a response to the letter i sent, may 23rd? [cheers and applause] >> so, ranking member waters, first of all, let me thank you for your service to california, being a resident of california. i appreciate everything that you -- >> thank you very much. >> the community do i want to take my time -- >> i also appreciate the opportunity to be -- >> my time. >> claiming my time. >> claiming -- >> i'm claiming my time. >> the time belongs to the gentle lady from california. >> let me just say to you, thank you for your compliments' how great i am but i don't want to
waste my time on me. want to know about the may 23rd letter. you know about it. why did you not respond to me and my colleagues. >> i was going to answer that -- >> go straight to -- >> mr. chairman, thought when you read the rules you edged -- edged you shouldn't be interrupted. >> reclaiming my tile. what he failed to tell you was when you're on my time i can reclaim it. he left that out so i'm reclaiming my time. please respond to the question why i did not gate response, me and hi colleagues to the may 23rd letter. >> i was going to tell you my response -- >> just tell me. >> okay so first of all, okay, let me just say that the department of treasury has cooperated extensively with the senate intel committee, with the house dish reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time. >> tertiary -- >> reclaiming any time, reclaiming my time. >> matter of fact --
>> the secretary of the -- the time belongs to the gentle lady from california. >> perhaps mr. chairman i don't understand the rules. >> reclaiming my time. >> answer questions. >> reclaiming my time. would you please explain the rules and do not take that away from my time. >> ladies and gentlemen, from california, congresswoman maxine waters! [cheers and applause] >> oh, my goodness. >> i don't know if anybody wants to interview you now. >> wow. >> so, congressman waters, so i don't waste your time, people saw that clip and there were a
lot of people who thought that was the first time you went gangster. you have been the same person you were on that video for your entire political career. >> that's right. >> so i would just like to start by saying, thank you. >> you're woman. >> -- for just being who you are in a time when so many are rubbing -- running afraid. >> yes. >> when we talk about that, jeff sessions. >> yes. >> in my estimation, is even more dangerous than the person in the white house. because he is pragmatically beginning dismantle work that people in this room and many of those that congressman lewis talked about, the work they've done and it's immediately impacting lives. >> that's right. >> can you talk about in one, most egregious areas that
sessions is attacking and how do we responsibility to -- we responsibilitied. >> you're absolutely correct. he me thank you for being who you are. starting as a very young person , taking the initiative, knowing that you have power and you have worked it tremendously and i appreciate you. please give jeff a big round of applause. thank you. you're absolutely right about jeff sessions. first of all, he's a racist. a throwback. he has defined himself throughout his career and so the president of the united states appointed him to one of the most important offices in all of government to become the attorney general, with the power that he holds to do the damage that he set out to do. i have a session all about jeff sessions, and we are going to
deal with his attacks on mandatory minimums. we have been working hard to get justice in this system because of the mandatory minimums that have sent so many of our people to prison, young people, small amounts of drugs, crack cocaine, who have ended up with long terms, in prison. they have to increase the prison population tremendously but he now wants to review that and he wants to get tough, and do away with the mandatory minimums, relaxations we have done, and then voting rights. you know, he said that the naacp and the american civil liberties union were communists organizations, when they were fighting to make sure they protect the voting rights of our people. consent decrees -- very important. you look at what is happening in st. louis right now.
you take a look at all of the targeting of young black males for the post part but black people in general, all of the lives lost, the justice department now can move in to these local police jurisdictions, take a look at their practices, and work at redoing the training, hoping to identify where they have been unfair, on and on and on. when they move in and they identify bad police officers with bad record, et cetera, and they have to get rid of them. they work out an arrangement with that local police jurisdiction and then they follow it for years. ...
voting rights, affirmative action. i think we are incredibly clear people that don't know dissent decrees still know that the justice department helped to push and support the municipalities bring about the police reforms that many states have not dealt with the initiatives the way your state has the way that they dismantled affirmative action especially by way of education and what has the impact of that in because i
know we talked about the false sense of equity and quality but not the impact in places that have gone through it in california. >> you can take a look at education and see for example ucla in california. it has been years since we had the kind of representation coming in to that institution that would make good sense for a state like california graduating with a 3.5, 3.9, but they couldn't get into ucla and that's happened all over the country but let me tell you one of the reasons we've not been able to fight for affirmative action, too many were ashamed. i was smart enough, now come on
people. we have management in the universities and they get in because their parents gave money so that affirmative action for white people that happens in the universities, so people shouldn't be ashamed of affirmative action that's trying to correct the wrongs of the past and so it's been very harmful and all of the universities. >> if we are talking about jeff sessions on the issues of police reforms or whether we are talking about the fact that we no longer are going to have an sba or business focus from the white house that's trying to develop at a local level degree is no shortage of areas that we can argue.
she hasn't seen the class from the inside. [applause] and she is bringing in all of the private postsecondary schools of people trying to get an education who may have dropped out and they go to one of these colleges holding up private postsecondary colleges saying we can train you, you get some money from the government in order to pay their tuition, etc. if she's bringing them back in. as a matter of fact into the administration. one of the managers or the big postsecondary schools and then look at ben carson. my grandmother would call him an educated fool here's a man that
has a reputation who is a highly competent surgeon but when he talks about poor people he says there is a cause of poverty he doesn't understand why you didn't do what he did [applause] [cheering] look at the treasury secretary, education, ben carson, part of the kremlin class. and all these people in the cabinet that he's chosen to run this country.
>> let's be stopped there because you are clearly using your jobs that you have to take them to task, whether it's in the committee or challenging them in back rooms to it there is a room of people that are trying to figure out how they up their own game. what are the recommendations because you already said there's no shortage of issues, but if we are not elevating, let me be more specific. what do you say to young people that have been a part of showing up at rallies and marches using social media effectively for their cultural currencies to lift up issues, what do you say to those that want to go to another level about how do i get involved and sustained in the engagement of the movement moves whether this policy or something else, what do they do? >> most of the protests have been after killing.
it doesn't last very long so i think it's important to understand how persistence works into getting involved in different ways. for example i know some are saying you are all the same. we are not the same but they have not focused on the differences between the party. but let's take a look at how we do not involve ourselves in the democratic party politics or electoral systems. first of all, you will see that many of these right wing organizations not only are involved in raising money that they show up also they come to washington, d.c., they have lobbies and backup their legislators and whether it is the second amendment rights were
dealing with choice and whether or not women should have control of their bodies, so we don't have enough people to show up at the capitol and organize the lobbies where they go from office to office. the second thing is, don't understand enough about how to raise money and creates the tasks. these are very important because they support the kind of legislators that you say you want. most of us are out there doing what we say we do and we go to various organizations and to speak. in the women's groups etc.. but when it gets down to how we get elected, the support isn't really there. >> lets me push back a little bit and then we will open up the floor.
>> when you talk about the second amendment, they are putting millions of dollars behind it. you've got the cato institute, the heritage foundation and what they are doing and you talk about having the news and media infrastructure pushing out their piece, what infrastructure decision and so how do we play a better job in the money game because we have a trillion dollars of spending power but we still talk about the organizations we don't have. there is a disconnect between the money that we have and how we invest it. what are some of the ways we need to play a more sophisticated role in the politics? >> anybody can create a pack and collect small amounts of money to ask for the contributions in the way that we showed we had a lot of independent
organizations. they are not involved necessarily with the republican party. but they are rich and have a lot of money and raise money and used those to influence and contribute the efforts that are important to them. one of the workshops i'm going to do friday morning is about the amount of money that hip-hop has put into this economy. a chilean dollars. when you take a look at jay z. and all the branding they've done and the money that they have raised and you take a look at hip-hop and what we contribute to style and fashion, there's millions, multi-millions of dollars.
when are we going to decide that our colleges are just as important as some of the other things? [applause] i want to make sure we can get in as many questions as we can so please come a brief questions and we will get to as many as we can. >> we have a race under north carolina. how do we follow the money and decide who works to get the best one out there.
i will tell you one thing. if we can come together >> we are getting ready to see it in atlanta, and to her point, i want to make sure we save this it's not just about young people. there is a level of misogyny that i am seeing where you have men that cannot win a race. a lot of them could win if they move. how do we talk about not just coming together at about the politics of say who is the best candidate for now the reason we
have this kind of division and competition that's not in our best interest is because we are not organized. and i will tell you exactly what can be done. if those that claim to have influence and this includes the ministers and so-called community leaders, if they organize a community conference coming to take all of the candidates ahead of time and you interview them and you learn about them and their backgrounds, what they care about, what they've done, what their positions are and then you left them present themselves on the stage and you have a community come out and listen to what they are saying and then you with that conference into that community say we are going to decide to support this one person because this is the person that is aligned with our concerns and this is the person who understands what the job is, and we are going to put the
community behind this one person, but you've got to organize and bring the community out to choose the person otherwise everybody will choose themselves and that's why you will have the decision. organize the community. ministers, you have the opportunity to talk to more people on sunday morning in america than anybody else. [applause] do the kind of community work that would collect the right individuals to run for office.
trying to encourage people to run for office for next year. what do i do to get them to run for office starting with the local legislation we do have one president running but i would like them to run for congress since they are going to be 435 seats next year and we are trying to encourage them. so many of them do not want to run. they are not interested and i keep telling them. >> i appreciate it is a great question and we will get to it. last question yes ma'am. >> i'm from baton rouge, and what i would like to know is how do you deal with the african-american elected officials that are our color but not our kind who run on issues for disenfranchised communities but once they are elected, they totally abandoned those issues?
i am very opinionated and i stick to those issues, but then you become disenfranchised with your colleagues and they abstain from both and don't get involved and don't support you. they may even come against you. how do you feel off with those issues and to those in the community that don't support us? [applause] [cheering] >> all the color commentary. three questions. one, how do we engage the supreme court in general because so many don't engage the supreme court cases that heard and second, are we going to develop a candidate incubators at some point where we are preparing people to run for office and then three how do we hold elected officials accountable during the process and not just during the election? >> you are going to hear over and over again about voting. some people think well, i ago and everyone should understand
the price that has been paid by our ancestors for voting but we are not voting or strength. when you talk about appointments by presidents such as . . . . would like to see the pointed to the supreme court, and we should get behind them and challenge presidents, whether they are republicans or democrats to talk about the kind of people that we want. we get on radio, television, we march in organize. you know, leave it to those to do the right thing. basically they are not quick to do the right thing. they are going to do what is in their best interest and it's all about voting, organizing, showing up and working in order to have influence on the elected officials and a syste in the syt dictates everything that goes on in our country.
that's number one. i believe that wanting to be in elected official is in th progrs and i believe that those who have the passion and those who believe that they can make change, those who believe that they can impact the system in some ways are the best candidates. i think if you do everything to try to get something to work that may not be the right person, but i do think that those of us that are in office have to demonstrate we stand for something. this will inspire young people off of more than the thinkin ths just a bunch of people looking to do good for themselves or move up the ladder or have opportunities for themselves. we've got to make sure we are speaking truth to power and standing up for young people but they know we've got their back and when we do that i think more
will be entered that when you are trying to encourage them it doesn't really work. when you identify young people in the community who are speaking of, when you identify some of these young people in black lives matter who are saying what needs to be said, then go get them and say i see what you're saying, i see what you're doing and i think you will make a good elected official. let's work with people that have the passion and want to do it and understand how important it is. there's plenty of them in the community but we don't associate with them because we think they are too controversial. you better get controversial. [applause] [cheering] you better call it like it is. we have been shot down. when they say to us about ten or 15 years ago she is playing the
race card you should say yeah and i have a lot more of them to play. don't run away from it, and that's what happened. we stopped calling a rac resista racist because they say that's all you dudes who don't do anything else. don't these people intimidate or scare you. you've got to get in the fight and you've got to be in the fight to make some sacrifices and to understand when you're winning and to continue to work and make things happen. and i want to tell you it is time to take off the handcuffs. it's time to get in it. it's time to call it like it is. don't come here and tell me keep doing what you do. when are you going to give me some support? [applause] how many of you and your organizations have said?
well, they don't have what it takes, they don't have the law yet. and impeachment is about whatever the congress says it is. it's no all that dictates impeachment and what the constitution says it's high-class misdemeanors and we defined that. bill clinton got impeached. here you have a president who i can tell you and guarantee is in collusion with the rest to undermine our democracy. here you have a president that's obstructing justice and here you have a president that flies every day. thank god the centra god the ces beginning to connect the dots and understand facebook and social media's role in it. when is the black community going to say impeach him, it's time to go after him? [applause] i don't hear you. don't another person come up to me and say you go girl.
no, you go. [cheering] and on that note, one other thing i remember about the interaction more than anything else, director of the naacp come in la for an event, and you were walking through the crowd and there was a killer. when you're from our community, you know who the killers are and he was a killer. 6 feet 8 inches, tattoos, walking by you and said hey, congresswoman. so you turn around and he said where's my hug. you went up to him and you embraced him. and i mentioned that because
leadership isn't about how you act when you walk with kings. it's how you act when you walk when there's nobody else around. that was 20 years ago and i've never forgotten that because you didn't blink an eye. he knew you and you knew him and it wasn't about how this title or how many felonies or how if he was strapped at the time that he was the son of a community that you were in and you embraced him. i tell that story to say thank you for fighting for all of us all the time. [applause] >> you are so welcome and i want all of us to know these are our children. they belong to all of us and one of the things i recognize during the height of crack cocaine in
los angeles and across this country is that we have children that are literally living in crack houses. parents have gotten involved withad gotten involved withdrugo prison. who was standing up for the children? they were dropped off of america's agenda. so, when you get a frantic call a young black man walks past you, his pants are low, his head is turned a way that you don't like and you want to deny them because they decided to have defiance to say i know you don't like me, take a look at me now. i don't like you either. let's do something about that. let's embrace them and accept them and talk with them and invite them in. let's understand the history of
black people. where neighbors and communities serve as a village for all of our black kids. let's get back to that and do that. that's what that's all about. when you fear your own, you will never be able to talk with them. [applause] >> so many people in this room have been calling you on on and thank you very much. [applause] [cheering] thank you, thank you very much. i've enjoyed being with you, but i've got to go. i've got to reclaim my time. [applause] [cheering] ladies and gentlemen, can we one
more time, congressman john lewis and congresswoman maxine waters. [applause] so, having her perspective and context laid out by seasoned leaders, we are going to bring out a full panel to discuss this erosion of hard-won civil rights progress and how we begin to create power. but before we do that, i don't know if it is unprofessional or before we do that i don't know if it is unprofessional or point of personal privilege but i will do it any way. one, i have to stall for time and two, because i want to. i would not be able to do what i do in my life without my wife and she didn't even tell me she was coming. i didn't see her. i heard little man. my wife is here. i want to say hey, baby, thank
you for surprising me. i will introduce the entire cbc. >> what's going on? baldwin is five months old and we might comoderate this together depending on his level of interest in the conversation. >> let me say this. this next conversation is going to be with a group of individuals who are not only elected officials but who are activists who are running organizations and addressing issues we care about. the goal is to talk about pragmatic solutions. say it again.
no. you're making me look bad, brother. i get tired of leaving with better parties than i do solutions. and if you leave having had a better time at night than you did direction during the day what's the point? and so thank you to those that are leading pragmatic panels throughout the day. are we ready to introduce our panel? we are? they have robust and fantastically deep and wonderful bios. i recommend you go to google and read them in their entirety.
please know they are doing incredible work. first we have the president if and ceo of the leadership on civil and human rights. co-president of the womens march, board, founder and former executive director, mallory. don't put that in your mouth, baby. and we are bringing back two congressional leaders. he is a cochair of this year's annual legislative conference she is the chair and represents texas 18th congressional district. please welcome back sheila
jackson lee. and finally we invite the national president listen, we are family here. i think at some point we need to be aggressive in defending our families, defending our children and representing who we are in this conversation. i would love if you would begin in talking just for a second about what you think is the most important legislative priority that we have. we are here as a part of the
congressional black caucus, legislative to hear the agenda, to know what we can do to push our local level, whether members of the cbc or not. what the single most legislative issue what does everyone need to have on their hearts, minds, lips and feet. >> good morning again. i guess we are still in the morning. dr. allison, are you still in the room? she has been to all 47 alc. [ applause ]
my colleague will have many different themes they are engaged in. i think the criminal justice reform under this umbrella of civil rights is one of the major elements. the fact that we as a western civilization in the united states more people than ever. i am in the diminishing economic development and environment and health care that is on the floor for am i diminishing civil rights and voting rights. but if we do not get a handle of the encars ration of young men and now women building the numbers not of the federal system but of the state system for every infraction starting with the encars ration of juveniles, if we do not
mandatory minimals, but if you have a sentence of 25 years for an ounce of marijuana and your life is just gone. i was at a mission this morning and we were feeding and fellowshiping with african american men whose lives have been steered off because of many elements but some in the criminal justice system. i would like to see us deal with mandatory minimums, stop enca incarcerating our children and i would like us to deal with redemption, job creation and turning the corner on what justice is all about. i would hope we could reignite the advocacy for criminal
justice reform. >> and this is a lot of what you have done over your career as an activist. the congresswoman makes a great point. the interesting piece is we never disconnected from that work. the challenge we haven't connected local to local to local to local to create the national momentum that's necessary. one, can you talk about some of the best practices you have seen in different parts of the country dealing with different parts of the issue that the congresswoman brought up and number two, what are recommendations that you give to challenge some of the late -- >> thank you to those who had me participate i appreciate you're
pushing us to what are the solutions. i can bring both of those questions into one. the local game is what we are finding that the most impact is being made. it will continue to prosecute 16 and 17-year-olds as adults. the age for criminal responsibility was 16 and 17 it ended up at the end of it all. he couldn't deal with trying to reenter society. his mother died not long after. what we did there in terms of
raising the age and while it is not perfect in terms of the legislation that is in place at that point but we what we found was making sure the advocates and elected officials and all of the different grass roots operations were working together was very important. what i am finding and what is very problematic is that at times we feel like we don't need one another. we don't have to work together. we don't have to come to the table together. there can be a ground game where people are organizing on the street but they don't have to find a way to connect the dots with what's happening in your city council office. that is impossible. if we are not using our ground game to move what's happening on a policy level then it does not properly manifest itself into real action and real reform we can count onto lift these sort of shackles off of our people.
with the raise the age campaign, we had a major grass roots effort and brought law enforcement to the table. all law enforcement is not bad. there are people within law enforcement that want to give you the tools necessary to go in and have those conversations. with all of those we were able to put the governor in a position where he had to get something done. if he was able to find piece with the elected officials and hear a bunch of people screaming outside we had to bring everyone to the table at the same time. i think another thing that is important who are saying that the problem is we are working with some of the elected officials who have been gate keepers is we had to expose them
as well. here is the legislation we want. if you do not support this we will go to the housing developments and other where you intend to tell them that you did not support the work. it comes around the law enforcement piece. i want to talk to you for a second. she brings up an interesting point about these intersection points and collaborative work. if they haven't been trained or don't know who these are to
begin to create what she is talking about and are we seeing that happen in anfective way, not just grass top to grass top or grass roots to grass roots. >> thank you. first of all i'm really honored to be here too. it is really great to be here. it is womens rights to you name it. it is a coalition that existed for about 67 years. what we are seeing right now is the kind of coalition that has been to our coalition. that's what's happening all over
the country. but the amazing thing is the momentum and at the state level that is resisting and actively resisting that across party lines and across groups like racial justice groups saying we are pushing because it is where we need to go. this system has been inhumane and devastated communities of color. we have at the leadership
conference groups that never thought of themselves as dealing with voting rights issues. it is groups that were pushing for gay marriage rights. groups that were pushing to ensure. they were all saying this commission, this commission that the president has put up to basically try to undermine the voting rights all over the country i know that congresswoman lee has to jump shortly. congresswoman lee, i want to ask you, how do we ensure sustain
abili susta susta sustain blt. it waits out until people burn out or graduate. we don't have the structure. how do we begin to shift this so that it becomes funded, morph into infrastructure and susta sustainability so that you can push the legislative -- >> thanks. i will look folks in the eye. i will just say there are sustainers in the audience. congressman brown was here. congressman evans. are you all still here?
wave if you're still in the room. they are part of the sustaining group. >> i think i see. >> is congresswoman baitty here? >> all right. all of the members of the congressional black caucus board. can i thank you all for being here. sustainability is crucial. i love what you're going to hear from the rest of the members on this panel. thank you. that was kayla. i want your movement to come because i want that bill passed. they make noises about we don't want to pass this bill on the federal level because the state people are doing it. i want to make it very clear, wloz government is this? whose federal government is this? if we do not speak truth to four press it down to others then who else will speak?
it is a legislative peace. it is a movement piece. she was right about the money that was in our community. do we invest it in sustaining the movement, which is what, if i might -- i know you might have to go to the history book, but we do need money to sustain the movement. i don't know how she managed to get a quarter of a mall, half a million more than a million. we didn't have to worry about counting. but why are we back again? it will be taken away from you that does not exist. it can be your strong policy arm. we know how to write these issues up, galvanize these thought processes.
we should be here on criminal justice reform. i agree that voting rights is the umbrella of making sure we are engaged on the school board level where they are trying to underpay teachers to the highest level where they are trying to take your health care away. i could say that healthcare is the most important. you get that. but if we do not stop incarcerating people and make that their life's work we will have an economy that is half baked. does that kind of answer where
we are? i would argue that the tools are members of congress in this powerful body of all kinds. i'm not bragging about who we are but this is the most powerful law making body in the world. i would make the argument, money, legitimate money but money that helps churn the issue, the legislative process and the advocacy of all which includes police officers which the chief is going to speak of of good will. i beg of you, come join us on both criminal justice reform and the ability to put forward law enforceme enforcement, honesty, integrity to beat out consent degrees. take the money and reform yourself so that we can be
protector and servers of the community as we seek to help dignify ourselves. i hope we have crafted what can be that answer of how we can get going. >> thank you so much for that. when you think about voting rights i think we have been wed to the power of the voting rights act. versus voter protection policy. how do you see that and where do you think the opportunities are for folks in this room to engage at a specific thing at the national level targeted areas at
the state level and even protection kind of issues at the local level in ways we haven't really brought together in a comprehensive strategy. >> absolutely. let me tell you that the biggest threat to our voting rights right now are occurring in our state legislatures. i think it's only fair that i start in my backyard and the state of texas where we used to be the state for what would be considered a southern state. we had some of the most liberal and some of the most easiest ways to vote out of any state in the entire union to be quite honest with you. the state of texas started to dismantle voting rights. i was still in the stage legislature. i became the lead plaintiff in
that lawsuit to get the voter id law overturned. basically it said you could only have five forms of id. you couldn't use any state issued student ids that were given to you by texas a&m university but you could use your concealed handgun license to vote. that was one of the first steps they took. and even the state's own data that youb most likely to not have one of the five forms of id were overwhelmingly black and latino citizens. >> the way you fight that is you have to get people activated in midterm elections. people always forget. people got very excited to go out and vote in 2008 and in
2012. in 2010 the drop offis so steep. you have these people that are elected to the governor's mansion that aren't on the same ticket during presidential years. they are the ones setting the policy for voter id. they are the ones setting the policy for redistricting. they have the ones setting the policy for all of the things we are talking about that effect each and every one of us but particularly when it comes to voting. we have to figure out some sort of way to get people engaged and start sharing the news about all of the things that are happening. states looking you to require to have a passport to register to vote. >> who is the organization at
your mind that is doing to most to -- if there's multiples but who are some of the organizations we need to be supporting with bodies and dollars who are turning the needle on some of those areas? whether it is money to file lawsuits which in many ace cases is that stopgap who have the folks we need to be looking to? >> the naacp has done a tremendous job in making sure that they are very engaged and very active i would say it would be my first choice to get
engaged. there are other organizations that are engaged very quickly. whether it is through labor or whether it's through organizations you have been doing this work for a long time. i think we are recognizing that the work is requiring evolved methods of engagement. how do we most effectively utilize legacy organizations to not do work but do evolved work so that they are relevant for new kinds of funding and excite young people what are looking to be engaged? >> thanks a lot for that
question in particular. it is speaking first to the responsibility is one that in this form i want to address. we talked about so we can do work they doing because we hit the ground. you don't give resources to the members of the congressional black caucus to sustain what they are doing. we are going to miss the whole ball. congressional black caucus members vote the way we need them to do.
they show up when we need them to show up. they speak to the issue without fear. when moneys are being distributed we pinch and share little drips and drabs as if to say it will get done anyhow. we can't take each other for granted and we certainly cannot take this for granted. for all of you who have dollars this is an unso litted commercial. if you're giving money to somebody start with black caucus members who are out there every day trying to keep this fight going and sustaining those things that we do at home in our communities everywhere else so that they can continue to have a voice that's going to work. if we are going to be totally
transparent about what leadership is. i will be 70 and i ain't ashame today say it. you have got to be prepared to get out of the way so some of the young folks who have the energy to do what you have been teaching them. nothing happens except you get to tell old stories and new stuff ain't going to happen. there has been a conscious effort to develop young peoples minds and actions. the fight for 15 is not garnered by folks who are working -- some of our seniors are blasting it out but is pushed by those who know how to pull out a tablet and put in to trap the folks that we need to help with the fight to get the job done. inside of some of the legacy organizations like the one that i have the privilege to work with, we are growing our youth element because that's who started this stuff along with
some of the elders. we are not teaching the old way to register. we are teaching folks to understand the stopgaps that are being placed in the path of folks who need to register and to vote. >> and they have been progressive more than in some of the other legacy organizations. one i think because of the amount of money they receive fd during election cycles but two because their membership as a result of who is there has organically evolved versus others who have to recruit in a different way. i want to make sure we don't take this police piece off of the table. i think she made an interesting point which spoke to people internally have to fight certain fights. there are people internally fighting for young people when there are others internally hating on young people. we always talk about there are good cops too, which i think is
an interesting statement in itself. what i'm interested in, what defines a good cop when they are quiet? so how do we create a level of support and pressure for those good cops to challenge the blue wall of silence, to attack police unions which are the greatest barrier and to speak up as a noble voice of the profession when the voice we keep seeing is one of brutality and abuse. >> that's a good question. thank you for having us. i think what you have seen recently, and i know nobles ranks and the black community, is we are saddened by these events just as much. i think what the public has not realized is we are part of the
kplunties. in many cases we are at the barbershops and all of the things that everybody else does. for us we have been inside the departments just as much as we have been outside it is to put black males in police leadership positions so we can say we tried it and it did not work. how do we support those local officers and what should we
expect? >> the first thing you should remember is we are humans just like the citizens. oftentimes it's always something nobody remembers, that it hurts us to see our black folks killed just like it hurts anyone else. our people put us in a position where we have got to choose. i was interested in what congressman lewis said. we need to be disruptive. there is a difference. when you become destructive we have got to go back to the oath to uphold the laws across the board. when i was down doing the trayvon martin folks were going
to burn that town down. they said listen, let's have a conversation. i stood before that body and i said before you burn this town down let's let some professionals give you advice on how to better accomplish the mission, which is to challenge the system. >> i was in sanford. >> right. >> and we have seen very little change. so i preeappreciate that. at some point we as a kplunty have to understand who are our internal allies. to your point it may not mean that you have officers on the front line of a rally as much as you have officers that are willing to provide intell some of those have to be family
conversations. i don't know that i'm hearing you acknowledging officers humanity. what does it have to give for them to voice what's wrong in a department even to congressman lewis's point at the putting things on the line. >> we have to make sure that the right folks are in there. we have now seen through technology and others racial profiling is back whether you realize it or not it's back. it's back live and well with the tag readers. >> what was the time left? >> well, under the justice department in the last administration it was governed a lot better. this week when you talk about collaborative reform we have those tools that were once there
and it's gone gechbagain. it got better because racial pro fi filing, you didn't receive federal funding if your agency was involved in those. now it has been remoouved under your current administration. if you elect the right folks. >> right. ultimately they are collecting police chiefs. i totally get that. that is more in the direction of what we can begin to do to get this. i want to provide congresswoman jackson lee some closing remarks. i know that you have to go and we'll open the floor to the audience. >> thank you so very much for your passion and in steering us very appropriately. let me try to cut a deal here.
can you lift what you did in new york on this criminal justice reform? let us lift it. we have our agenda. let us get in a room, bring the folks down from new york. bring all of the folks. what i want to close on, you are only as good as your next success story. we have gone back. we do have someone who leads the justice department along the pathway of injustice. are we going to allow that? >> no. >> are we going to standby or stand up? standby or stand up? >> stand up. >> if that is your challenge it will be my challenge. thank you for being here. we are in washington but i will see you and we will move on all
of those elements and the other elements dealing with our voter empowerment. thank you very much. >> thank you so much congresswoman. >> and we have been working together for so long it feels like so many people -- and i guess it leads into my point. so many people think this stuff is new. i was so happy to hear you say she has been this all along i could go on with the list. when we start talking about things being better at that time versus now it is very dangerous. that is to say when we get a person in officer that some how
things will change. that is not accurate. the system has to be completely torn down it cannot continue to exist the way that it was. in new york these are people who came together to say they were going to file a lawsuit against police department in new york for upholding the quota system and the organization i worked with have been supporting them. there is a woman, one woman of 12 who works for the police department that all of her overtime and any other ramification for speaking out that you could even think of has been thrown at this woman to get her to be the one to fold. so web you say what can the community do when i heard her talking about we have to do more. the people sitting in this room
are responsible for officers being able to speak out. if we do not ensure we are standing by them, that we are donating to the churches and causes that help uphold this woman, she needs resources to take care of her family. she is the one officer who could potentially break this crisis that we have in new york of an opressive police department. we need our people to donate and stand up and show up at our council meetings and to stand up when it is time to vote and make sure we are not just voting for those who have the policies in place to not just protect officers but protect what it is what they are standing up for
then the problem is not the police officers the problem is the people. we have to have a lot of voice and we have not. i hope that is what we come out with. >> it doesn't speak to the issue of officers. it speaks to how do we protect people that step up and show up? he has had a level of support for stepping out. whether we are doing that with police officers or not. i know there are other remarks. really quickly -- >> it will be very quick. >> like 30 seconds. >> it will be less than that if you let me talk. there is a sister -- >> there's too much family in here. >> that's woman named maryland mosley. right now she is a main target for some stuff that's going on. if there's a time for the communities of all places to get
together to be supportive of someone who is in enforcement or in a position that looks at enforcement closely this is the time. remember her name. maryland mosley. google it. do that, please. >> and if you don't know freddie gray i don't know why you're not in this room. one member of the panel will answer and we'll try to get as many of these questions answered. yes, sir. >> my question is this. we are dealing with app think, what are some that you all have used that you found to be powerful?
give us some that you can use to breathe some of the success. >> if you can give one line, a message that you're using to engage people. >> there is nothing self-executing about our rights and nothing that is ant our progress. we have to step up and fight in this moment, band together. >> one line, ask a simple question. do you have someone in your family who has ever been to jail or taken into the system unjustly? you would be surprised at the number of people that will listen to what you have to say? >> i would say that we have to care about issue that is may not be our direct concern but some how it all ties back together. i think we should tell people it's not in a vacuum. if one is under attack all communities are rnd attack.
less than 10% on nonpresidential years to elect city council and mayors, you can't get any change that way. >> don't let your actions accidentally change the narrative. i think it happens oftentimes like in st. louis right now. it's not about the officer. it's now about the riots. nobody is talking about the acquittal. >> and 10,000 people held it. i need to know how we legislate and be consistent with the constitution. there is economic injustice. they don't have resources to get
released. >> we will do it in the next several years. the good thing right now is in congress they came together to push forward a really important bail reform bill. we need to get that passed. it needs to get. the amazing thing right now are examples all over the country where they are eliminating cash bail and taking out the profit. kentucky has done it. we have states like new orleans. new jersey has done amazing work right now. we are seeing incarceration rates get lower. we need to make sure we don't increase racial disparities. we have criminalized poverty and criminalized race in this country and bail reform is an important avenue. it is still alive and well here. we have to push for it and make our voices heard and follow momentum. we have got to build on that. >> my name is kayla jones.
my question is what advice can you give to me who aspires to advocate for change? >> are you involved in organizations? >> yes, ma'am. >> i think that's number one but i would ask since your said you're all of those great things it would be awesome if you connected me. we can talk after that and figure it out. >> also in the case we found when we sue the insurance company that insured the police union we got more results from our own city council members and our own state representatives. so just to the people when you sue these insurance companies that insure these police unions you'll get more. >> i appreciate that.
>> hello. it is being called and defacing property and our administration keeps and constantly sweeps up under the rug. they swipe it under and do not address issues when we peacefully protest and march and come to them with solutions and demands. >> do y'all mind? as a former student government president i know about band 3 and know the history of university of michigan and black student mobilization but ann arbor will sweep under the rug what they can. how disruptive are you prepared to be and how do you begin to build nonpeople of color allies both on and off campus.
i don't know if you have done this or not. there's an unbelievable they are want to see transitions where ever you go to school even though they have been gone they have tremendous power. they can call board members that have to be involved in a march. there are corporate lead thaers can call a board member without showing up at a march. how do you identify the full board and continue to push pressure through your activism and begin to yutize staff as back door intell and keep up the pressure while they are pushing from the other side. lastly, utilize the press to the best of your ability to kplun
kate this is not where they want to come under existing conditions. that immediately gives at least a meaning because it begins to threaten the institution which is tuition dollars and brand. if you can chop away called the university of michigan and challenge it from a historical standpoint because you connect today strategy and ensure you have at least three asks as opposed to we want you to do better. they will end up telling you what better is. let me know if i can be helpful. yes, sir. >> okay. my i'm the founder of howard
alum d.c. my question is when i'm doing street ministry or whatever every day we find that civil rights seems irrelevant, but its something like, how do you get someone to exercise their rights of being a human being instead of just being permission to be civilized every day as opposed to just when it's time to vote for something that they just get hustled on their vote anyway? >> good question. >> so, how do you -- what is the best way for someone to exercise their civility whether their rights are being respected or not? >> thank you so much. i want to get these last two questions in and give the panel a chance foreclosing remarks. >> okay. my name is winter menasee. i'm 16 years old. my question is for the gentleman on my left. and, so, when you're talking about the riots and protesting, as a minor who can't vote and our civil engagement is a lot
like it's more so marching and protesting, and when there's problems with your kneeling and there is a problem for not kneeling, if you're kneeling for the national anthem, there is a problem if you're marching in the streets and people get too violent because that's going to be broadcasted. when you're peaceful, what is the right way for youth to be involved in their communities and like have good civic engagement? >> thank you. last question. >> yes, hello. my name is lakesha davis small and i am from washington, d.c., and my question is i wanted to know if i can have a conversation with you, tameka, because you are coming to d.c. and i am well connected with the clergy and a lot of different advocacy organizations. and i have, too, started a movement called stop stealing our souls, putting it in exploitation which is an issue in our communities as well. but what i wanted to say to the panel and to you also is that i was raised by a single father
without my mother, she left. drugs, crime, i done seen it all. seen someone get shot in their head at 10 years old in front of my face playing double dutch. what i do know and i want to say for the world to know, no one can help us from us but us. i love y'all. [ applause ] >> and because that wasn't the last question, but a comment, i want to let this brother get the last question. you go, sis. >> my question is when we're talking about -- first off my name is ron young. i'm actually a student in kentucky but i've done some work with naacp. when we talk about infrastructure, is the need on the level of do we need to develop another kato institute or heritage foundation for us and our issues? and if that's what we need to move towards for sustainability and for infrastructure, how do we go that to starlt that movement or is that the way to go or support organizations already doing that, or do we need systematic and legislative
pieces? >> got your question. so, is it either/or, or both and? we can say both/and. if we need to address institutions we need to develop. then we have somebody that wants to meet with tameka, which is fine. and then i think if you all can in your remarks just begin to address, i think, the root of one of the questions that the young lady mentioned, which is about resilience in the midst of the movement. and not allowing anybody to define for you where you stop and start. is that all right if i modified it that way? i appreciate the question, and i appreciate you being 16 and being here. god bless you. so, if you all want to address that or anything else in two minutes of your closing remarks, and we'll start, brother clarence, and come down. >> first of all, i invite you to visit the noble website. we posted just recently some
things to expect when you protest from us as cops and what we should expect from you as protesters that we think will keep you safe. that was in conjunction with the civil rights attorneys here in d.c. i think that you obviously have the right to protest and nobody should not protect you. and i think that as you do those things, you should visit the history of our forefathers in the way that they protest. that's what i'm looking for as a leader. that's what i would recommend to my kids, you know. keep the nonviolence down. and i think you won't change the narrative because you don't want your issues to turn into mass destruction of a community. and the fact that we have to borrow money from folks that don't look like us, and sometimes our communities are not rebuilt, is an injustice to our community when we go and destroy them. >> thank you. congressman? >> thank you very much. first, i just want to very quickly address the young lady
from university of michigan. i'm not exactly sure why we continue to send our kids to school to make these kills millions and millions of dollars and play basketball and shoot hoops because the incoming s.a.t. scores are directly tied to how much time they get on espn and national tv. i think we should definitely be hook being at that. and the second thing i would say is to the young lady, you have to keep organizing. our first amendment, it was made to protect speech that was unpopular. and, so, even if you are doing something that people don't like or it's unpopular or the local police don't like it, you still need to get out there and organize and make sure that you're doing your part that you're doing because you're going to be the next wave of leaders out there. and when we start talking about these low municipal election turnout results that we see over and over, that directly reflect
who our next police officers and police chiefs are, you can have an impact on that. make sure that you continue to chronicle it. right now you're recording. make sure you continue to do that. and, so, when they say it was -- it wasn't a peaceful protest, you can show them your iphone and -- to the world on youtube, on whatever social media space that you like, to the contrary that it was peaceful, and that you were following the law. but continue to exercise your right to organize and assembly because we need you out there and we don't need for you to get discouraged. >> thank you. tameka? >> i think that most of the protests that i've been involved in, probably 99.999% of them have been peaceful, if that's what you want to call it. i don't think you should allow anyone to define that narrative for you. and you have to actually ignore that because the reality is that militarized police officers in our community is what creates the violence.
people don't just walk outside and decide they're going to start breaking windows. that's not real. right? this is happening because there is no justice in our communities, and we are going up against a machine that is there to intimidate and to create tension that ultimately spills over into the violence that you see. so, i would really try to block that out. of course, when you're organizing, we always talk to people about the principles, the kenyan nonviolence principles. when we go out we're not going out to attack people, but rather the systems of oppression. and as long as you carry that with you, even when something happens -- the truth of the matter is i look at gatherings of other community that are way off the hook. it's not even being talked about in the way that one brick being thrown is being discussed in our communities. that is being done to distract you. it's not that anyone is taking their eyes off the ball. it's that people do not want to deal with your issues and so they want to use this peaceful
thing and put that on you as an attempt to stop you from being focused on the real issues. so, what you need to know is that if you choose activism it's hard and you're going to come up against people who look like you who are going to tell you you're wrong, and other people that are going to be pushing against you on the other side. the reality is it's always been this way and we have no choice but to continue to push because our lives and our children's lives depend on it and that's all i can say to you, sister. it's going to be difficult but you just have to keep going because you've got black girl magic and you can make it happen. [ applause ] >> very quickly i'd like to address the brother who does the street ministry. i hope you're still here in the room. first of all, it's incredible that you are here in the room and at that mic. let me salute you for doing that. we need advocates. we as a people need advocates in every entity of our being, and we need to understand that we've got to be supportive of every entity of our being. you are doing good work. don't let anybody discourage
you. how do you get the support to bring in that way? call people out just like you're doing right now. know the mechanisms that are at your disposal. you can call a press conference as well as anybody else. learn the names of the reporters that are on your television stations. give them a phone call and if they don't show up call them out on your issues. and when you do your street ministry. and call some of these old line organizations out to make them show up, to be supportive of you. we are still one people and we will be black all day long. [ applause ] >> anita? >> you know, one of the big things that i think you heard from all of us today is the importance of showing up for each other right now. and there is so much energy and intentionality in building community, the answer lies with us. we can't just sit back and criticize and talk about the problem. there are a lot of problems right now. but we've got to be able to stand up and show up for each other. the same anti-immigrant agenda trying to destroy the lives of
800,000 young people who -- young immigrants who came to this country know no other country of their home than us. that is the same complex around criminallization of our communities and black and brown communities. the criminal justice reform issues, voting rights issues, all of these issues are deeply connected and this administration gets that. when you're seeing folks and officials tweet out and condemning the violence in charlottesville -- >> we take you live now to the brooking institution in washington for a conversation on immigration, the future of president obama's program for undocumented immigrants who came to the u.s. as children, and president trump's immigration plans. we'll hear from former homeland security secretary janet napolitano and the head of the immigration and naturalization service from the clinton administration. live coverage here on c. span 3. >> there is the u.s. immigration and we hope to have a good discussion both here and online.